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Friday, May 18, 2012

Robotic Lawn Mowers 2012

IFR projects that sales of all types of domestic robots (vacuum cleaning, lawn-mowing, window cleaning and other types) could reach over 9.8 million units in the period 2011-2014, with an estimated value of US$4.3 billion. 
Robotics lawn mowers represent the second largest category of domestic robots and the number of suppliers and models is increasing. About 200-250.000 robotic lawn mowers have been sold so far mainly by companies like market leader Swedish Husqvarna, Italian Zucchetti Robotica, Israelian Friendly Robotics, German Stihl and some others. New competitors from Asia are now entering the market with low price design copies to get their share of the growing gardencare market.  New marketing concepts have aslo been developed to defend and expand market positions in growing markets. 

Credit: Robot Buying Guide
In 2011 new modells have been introduced by Husqvarna/Gardena focusing on the growing number of elderly and small garden owners. In 2012 John Deere, the well known US manufacturer of gardening equipments has also entered into the robotic lawn mower market with the introduction of the John Deere Tango E5. Hong Kong based Positec Industrial has introduced the Landroid robotic lawn mower in 2010 and is now selling in several European countries. 

Husqvarna Automower 305
With more than 130.000 sold units Swedish Husqvarna is the world leader in robotic lawn mowers, with the widest range on the 
market. The largest Automower® model can handle up to 6,000 square meters of lawn and can send text messages to its owner’s cell phone.

New: According a press release May 24, 2012 the Husqvarna Group has manufactured almost 200,000 robotic mowers since starting in 1995.

Sales growth for Automower® during the first ten years was slow until sales began to accelerate after 2005. The most successful markets in terms of volume are Sweden, Germany and Switzerland. During 2011, the offering has been expanded with Automower® 305, a model for small gardens with lawns up to 500 square meters. The recommended retail price of the Husqvarna Automower 305 is EUR 1490:- ($ 1999)

Gardena R40Li
In autumn 2011 Gardena, owned by Husqvarna, released its first robotic lawn mower, R40Li, a modified version of the Husqvarna Automower 305, launched in spring 2011. The R40Li mows a lawn area up to a maximum of 400 sqm and when required, the robotic mower recharges itself at the charging station. Its easy-to-place boundary wire shows the R40Li where to mow. It repeatedly cuts grass tips with razor-sharp blades; grass clippings remain on the lawn as a natural fertiliser (mulch principle). The cutting height of 2 to 5 cm can be easily set with a rotary knob.  With a weight of 8 kg, the robust robotic mower tackles inclines up to 25 %. Programming is incredibly simple and quick. Different mowing times or days can be set on the large selection panel and display. Following the menu is easy and intuitive. After programming, the R40Li starts on its own at the set times, even when it rains. The powerful and easy-care lithium-ion 18 V /1.6 Ah battery ensures reliable and energy-saving operation. The R40Li also works very quietly and without emissions. Highly sensitive collision sensors and the boundary wire help the R40Li to avoid obstacles in the garden. Lift and tilt sensors, and a large space between the housing and blades, guarantee additional safety for people and animals. For example, when the mower is lifted, the blades immediately stop and thereby prevent injuries. The robotic mower can also be stopped at any time with the large, easy-to-access stop button. R40Li is flexible and therefore well suited for nearly any garden type, as well as for example secondary areas. The robotic mower is supplied with a charging station, a power cable, boundary wire, staples, spare blades, couplers and connectors. 
Recommended retail price EUR 1349:-

New competitors entering the European market

John Deer TANGO E5 lawn mower
Credit: John Deere, Tango E5
John Deere, the well known US manufacturer of gardening equipments has also entered into the robotic lawn mower market with the introduction of the John Deere Tango E5. The 15,3 kg heavy robot is designed for large private gardens up to 1800 sq m (19,400 sq ft) and has a pretty competitive features list. It uses perimeter wires to detect the area, and bounces randomly between borders and objects on the lawn. The Tango E5 is equipped with all the necessary sensors, like lift, tilt and bumper sensor, and has a pin code and loop lock feature to prevent theft. The robot is powered with a 36V 2600 mAh lithium-ion battery that lasts for about an hour. After a 90 minutes long recharging period the John Deere Tango E5 can resume mowing until the scheduled mowing period is over. Cutting height can be adjusted between 2 and 10 cm (0.7-4 in), while the 30 cm (12 in) cutting with provides efficiency. Recommended retail price: UK £2,092 (~$3,330), Sweden SEK 22.250:-

Worx/Landroid
Credit: Worx, Landroid
The Landroid is promoted via Internet as "Unmanned Mowing Vehicle from Worx incorporates" a Eco-friendly and low maintenance mowing solution. The 14,7 kg heavy Landroid is powered by a 24V sealed, lead-acid battery, and  returns to the charging station when battery needs recharging. 
User interface with an LED operation display simplifies use.

Swedish Retail Store Jula is selling Landroid for SEK 8995:- (~$1249)

Global Garden Products - Stiga Autoclip
Credit: GGP, Stiga Autoclip
In January 2012 Italian Global Garden Products announced the acquisition of the entire quota capital of the company LiCo srl and the Lizard brand. Following this acquisition, Global Garden Products (GGP) and Zucchetti Centro Sistemi (ZCS) have signed a long term strategic cooperation to jointly strengthen both their positions in robotic lawn mowing solutions in Europe and overseas.

ZCS will continue to be fully active in its different markets as the innovative expert for robotic solutions with its brands as Ambrogio and Wiper whereas GGP will market the robotic lawn mowers as an integral part of its leading brands but foremost under the Stiga brand.

Stiga is offering three series Stiga Autoclip 100 (0 – 800 sqm), Stiga Autoclip 500 (1.900 – 3.500 sqm) och Stiga Autoclip 700 (4.000 sqm) in the price range SEK 12.500 (~$1741) to SEK 40.000:- $5574:-). The most compact model manages a 400 m2 lawn, handles slopes up to 50 % and requires no installations. The larger one handles up to 4,000 m2 but calls for a bit more preparation.

5 comments:

greymfm76 said...

There even exists open source robotic lawn mowers. One of them is this project (http://www.ardumower.de/index.php/en/). Open means schematics, code etc. is free.
Happy mowing!

Tite said...

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